Growth in Cruise Activity Increases Economic Prosperity in BC

VANCOUVER, Dec. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The British Columbia economy enjoys significant benefits from the growing cruise industry.  The 2013 cruise season saw a considerable increase of 11% in passengers over the previous season.  More than 1.3 million passengers visited the BC communities of Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, Vancouver and Victoria on a total of 455 calls in 2013. This cruise activity generated an estimated total economic impact of $1.6 billion to the BC economy.  Direct passenger and crew spending totaled $228 million and cruise line spending was $422 million in BC while overall business tax contributions were $59 million.  BC is the largest cruise region in Canada, accounting for over 50% of all Canadian cruise traffic, with Vancouver and Victoria leading as the first and second largest cruise ports in Canada.

"The cruise industry in BC promotes a healthy provincial economy by supporting approximately 8,400 full time jobs in 2013," noted Cruise BC Chair Rebecca Penz. "The 455 calls to the four BC ports boost many sectors within the province including tourism operations, marine trades, and retail and restaurant businesses."

Economic impacts and benefits were felt throughout the province's cruise ports in 2013:

  • Nanaimo enjoyed a 34% increase in passengers from 2012, hosting 12,400 visitors at its new terminal during the 2013 cruise season.  The Nanaimo Port Authority hosted four Norwegian Cruise Line ships, bringing a record 8,703 visitors into the community in less than one week.  Passengers as well as senior cruise line executives were delighted by the facilities and services available in Nanaimo and by the size and design of the cruise ship berth.

  • The Prince Rupert Port Authority had a successful 2013 cruise season, with passenger volume growth of 2,700 over the previous season, representing a 76% increase.  The community enjoyed visits from 5,000 passengers, with operations, including ground transportation, working extremely well.  Prince Rupert continues to offer attractive and well-received tour products to its cruise passengers, with tour products operating at approximately 80 per cent capacity in 2013 and receiving very positive feedback.

  • In 2013 Port Metro Vancouver welcomed 812,400 passengers, on 235 calls, representing a 22% increase in passenger volumes over 2012. A total of 17 ships were home ported in Vancouver in 2013, including the return of four vessels. Furthering the Port's commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of port operations, a third shore power connection was installed at Canada Place terminal through a joint effort between the Port, the federal and provincial governments and Disney and Holland America cruise lines.  A total of 83 vessel calls connected to shore power in 2013, an increase of nearly 40% over 2012.

  • Victoria welcomed 203 cruise ships call at Ogden Point in 2013, bringing 481,733 passengers to the community.  The Celebrity Solstice was the largest regular weekly caller to Ogden Point in Victoria's history. A new model for the cruise shuttle service was offered, with the core service operated using transit buses where possible to reduce noise and emissions and improve accessibility for passengers with mobility challenges. Walking to Victoria's vibrant downtown was also promoted through a cruise passenger map and website.

"While the 2013 season saw impressive increases in the number of cruise calls and passenger visits to BC, the 2014 outlook is also strong for BC ports," said Penz. "With the cruise ship season on the horizon, the four BC ports are investing in infrastructure and preparing their facilities for another successful summer."

For 2014, the Nanaimo Port Authority is evaluating service upgrades to the cruise terminal which may see the installation of fresh water lines.  Nanaimo is also excited to have the large Celebrity Solstice make her inaugural visit to Nanaimo in September.

As the Alaska theatre continues to bounce back, the Prince Rupert Port Authority is optimistic that its business will continue to grow. Currently Prince Rupert has 10 cruise calls confirmed for next summer.

Port Metro Vancouver anticipates another successful season in 2014 with a forecasted 244 calls and over 800,000 passengers.  They look forward to welcoming their long-time cruise line customers and two new home ported vessels, the Crown Princess and the Pacific Princess. The Port also looks forward to seeing the Celebrity Solstice in Vancouver for the first time for two repositioning calls.

Victoria will welcome 214 cruise ships and 462,000 passengers in 2014.  A new water shuttle will be used to transport passengers from Ogden Point to downtown, providing a new and exciting experience for passengers.

Cruise BC Association is the cruise industry leader in BC, acting on behalf of its members to market BC ports to cruise lines, travel trade and consumers in order to continue to realize the potential of the cruise industry in BC and continue the sector's significant contribution to the BC economy.

SOURCE: Cruise BC Association

For further information:

Joan D'Angola
Direct Line: 604.619.9699
Toll Free: 1.877.724.5722

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